Troubadourable folk buddies Simon and Garfunkel once sang that "it's all happening at the zoo," before retiring from music to live out their days serenely basking in the reptile habitat. Get happening with today's Groupon: for $8, you get admission for two, plus two bags of feed, at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary (an $18 value). A nonprofit devoted to rehabilitating rescued animals, the Austin Zoo has opened its animal-friendly confines to more than 300 two, four, and no-legged guests spanning 100 different species. A former goat ranch, the facility remains small, eliminating larger crowds and allowing for an intimate view of the zoo’s animals and their hourly rendition of CATS. A wondrous wrigglebin for children, the on-grounds petting zoo allows patrons an opportunity to feed goats, deer, and llamas and pet the finger-friendly fur of domestic critters, which they can easily do with the included bags of feed ($1 value each). Plus, the friendly staff is always on hand to answer questions about the many mammals, birds, and amphibians and to share interesting facts about the zoo reptiles such as the Texas rat snake, albino corn snake, and snake snake.
With a constantly growing demand caused by roadside zoos and abandoned exotic pets, the Austin Zoo features an ever-revolving cast of new, recently rescued residents. In 2009 alone, the zoo welcomed more than 60 new guests, including lions, wolf-hybrids, and pygmy goats, giving them a safe home and saving them from a career in politics. Check out the zoo hours as well as a list of other ways you can help the heroic efforts, before nabbing today’s animal-friendly Groupon to the Austin Zoo.
Austin Zoo originated as Good Day Ranch in 1990 featuring pony rides and goat-milking demonstrations. Over the next four years, the founders began rescuing exotic animals and evolving into a rescue center, renaming the facility under its current moniker. After becoming a safe haven for more than 300 rescued animals of more than 100 different species, the Austin Zoo began the process of becoming a nonprofit organization, which it completed in 2000. Housed in native Texas Hill Country enclosures, the animals can enjoy real grass and landscaping instead of concrete exhibits or studio apartments. African lions and Bengal tigers stretch out in the big cat habitats while colobus monkeys and a marmoset swing from tree to tree in monkey areas. In addition to wild creatures, the zoo houses domesticated animals such as a miniature donkey, potbellied pigs, and llamas.
The best part? Feeding the goats, alpacas, and sheep! Get there early so the animals are hungry.Eliza M., Yelp, 2/21/11
This is not your typical zoo, and that makes it kinda awesome. It's an animal sanctuary, petting zoo, and educational center.Bill W., Yelp, 2/5/11
Tips from Groupon Customers
“Great zoo! Donate some money. They are a sanctuary :) will return!”
“This isn't a large zoo, but I liked it all the better for it not being grandiose- it makes the experience with the animals more intimate instead of feeling like they...”
“This isn't a large zoo, but I liked it all the better for it not being grandiose- it makes the experience with the animals more intimate instead of feeling like they are on display far away from the visitors! Be ready for dirt paths that aren't level as well- we kind of struggled with our stroller, but over all had a wonderful time!!!”
“A pleasant, manageable (2-3-hour) zoo. Not as comprehensive as San Diego or Bronx, or even Waco or San Antonio, but it has a noble mission (rescue), a...”
“A pleasant, manageable (2-3-hour) zoo. Not as comprehensive as San Diego or Bronx, or even Waco or San Antonio, but it has a noble mission (rescue), a visitor-friendly lay-out, just-what-you-need-to-know signs on the enclosures, ample free parking, and a reasonable admission fee.”
10808 Rawhide Trail
Austin, Texas 78736Get Directions